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Re: Twin Ultramatic Lifespan.
#21
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Jack Vines
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Quote:

Tim Cole wrote:
Ross's point is well taken because with the increase in power the transmission wasn't changed that much so it was like putting a 120 trans behind the V-12. But the trans needs to be in good condition to use Drive. I was never a lead foot with those cars and I always accelerated moderately until the thing got into direct. Then I would gradually increase the throttle. It's a habit I never got rid of and still use it with my modern car.
For true. The TU was a fragile piece which few shops knew how to rebuild, much less improve where needed. That weakness caused many an otherwise perfect Packard, Hudson, Nash, Studebaker Golden Hawk to be sent to the wrecking yard.

Not many owners were willing to own a luxury car which couldn't be driven normally.

jack vines

Posted on: 10/20 11:52
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Re: Twin Ultramatic Lifespan.
#22
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humanpotatohybrid
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Example being BH's dad's Packard bought new but parked in the 60's due to transmission problems.

Posted on: 10/20 13:22
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Twin Ultramatic Lifespan.
#23
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Jack Vines
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Yes, I know first-hand, because in 1963, my parents traded in a mint condition 1956 Hudson Hornet because of two TU failures. I later saw it sitting on top of a pile in a local wrecking yard.

(To this day, I still consider those '55-'57 Hashes the ugliest US car of that era.)

jack vines

Posted on: 10/21 11:48
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Re: Twin Ultramatic Lifespan.
#24
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humanpotatohybrid
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Yeah they definitely had an... "interesting" look

Posted on: 10/21 14:39
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Twin Ultramatic Lifespan.
#25
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HH56
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Quote:
To this day, I still consider those '55-'57 Hashes the ugliest US car of that era.

As I recall, paraphrasing a test article for one of those year Hudson models the reviewer said for styling the particular model he was writing about would go down as the car having the most V's he had ever seen tacked onto a car. Went on to say there were more V letters or shapes bolted, molded, glued, stamped, or otherwise slapped willy-nilly on the body than had ever been seen before or would likely be seen again. He gave the number he had counted but don't remember what it was.

Guess styling was really proud of having a V8 and wanted everyone to know but wonder if it was the Packard engine or if they were promoting the V8 engine AMC finally built for themselves.

Posted on: 10/21 15:05
Howard
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Re: Twin Ultramatic Lifespan.
#26
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humanpotatohybrid
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On that point, the rear end redesign for the 56 seniors eliminated the V's on the taillights since they made the trunk lock a V. Guess "over-V-ing" was a common styling concern in the day

Posted on: 10/21 16:09
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: Twin Ultramatic Lifespan.
#27
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Tim Cole
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I was thinking over this topic the other day and to answer the initial question of the service life of the Twin-Ultramatic; the original owner cars I dealt with years ago were in the 80,000 to 90,000 mile range with the original transmissions when they quit. However, those were cars that were still on the road.

The problem was a huge variance as to quality control. The old timer's summed the situation as follows: "There are good ones and bad ones."

You can't stay in business given a situation like that.

My Ultramatic driving method is much like that used with locomotives. As speed increases the throttle is "notched up" to avoid traction motor burnout.

Posted on: 10/22 9:01
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Re: Twin Ultramatic Lifespan.
#28
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Jack Vines
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As I've gotten into electric cars, I've talked to GM engineers on the project. The prime directive was the ability to go from an existing GM car to the Bolt EV without any special training or knowledge. It had to drive like any other GM car.

That some TUs could be feather-footed up to reasonable lifespan is an anomaly. Most owners expect the car to tolerate their driving style; not that they have to worry about it dying under them.

jack vines

Posted on: 10/22 9:30
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Re: Twin Ultramatic Lifespan.
#29
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HH56
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I don't think Packard was entirely alone in reliability issues in that era. Granted the hurried development of the TU and then the decision to have a high power engine bolted to a transmission designed for smooth leisurely operation with a much lower power engine could stand review but as I recall even GM made a boo-boo or two. The Jetaway Hydramatic that came out around the same time also had some reliability issues if one tried to hotrod it. Big difference was GM had time and vast resources to fix their problem child. Can't think of the name offhand but I seem to remember another mfg's first generation automatic that had so many issues in some cases it was even pulled from cars and replaced with something else.

Posted on: 10/22 10:25
Howard
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